Have you been considering starting your own taxi firm? Now is as good a time as ever. The taxi industry has sustained substantial growth in recent years. To help you get started we have provided a brief guide on some of the essentials you’ll need to become a self employed taxi driver.

Premises

To start your own taxi firm you will need to establish an operating centre. Many people use their own home when starting out. Any building can be used as long as it complies with health and safety regulations. Bear in mind that some local authorities conduct regular inspections of your operating centre. If you can afford your own premises for base of operations it is worth investing. An operating centre based in the centre of a busy town or city will attract passing trade throughout the day. If you can’t afford one in a prime central location then plan carefully. If you can find cheap premises near a busy nightclub or train station then you should have steady custom.

Radios

There are many different solutions on the market for radio and communication devices. If you are just starting out as a small scale venture then it is probably worth going for a simple set up which you can then upgrade or replace as required. A fixed mobile appliance is recommended. They retail from around 150 and can broadcast using VHF (very high frequency). Installation is relatively simple. After acquiring planning permission you can attach the antenna to your home. You’ll also need a power supply unit and a microphone to talk to any drivers. Different set ups will benefit different geographical areas so it is worth spending time choosing the correct system before shelling out. VHF systems work well over long distances which are not too heavily built up (such as small towns and villages). UHF (ultra high frequencies) can’t travel as far as VHF waves but are better for bouncing off surfaces. UHF systems work best over built up areas such as city centres. Both systems retail at the same price so don’t be put off by the range of the frequencies. If you are going to use a radio system then you will need to apply for a licence. The cost of the licence will increase with the number of cars you have and will vary depending on which frequency you use. The RLA (radio licensing authority) is the body which issues licences and can be found online.

Insurance

If you are hoping to set up a taxi firm then you will need to get the right insurance. Your fleet of cars, drivers and passengers all need to be covered by your insurance. Although it is not legally required it is recommended to get your operating centre, radio set up and any other valuable equipment insured as well. There are some insurance firms which only provide taxi cover. These can be found online and advertised in trade magazines.

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